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How are Ptolemy’s terms determined?
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TonyLouis



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
Posts: 79

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb,

Thanks for your detailed explanation. I've read it over several times and cannot see the flaw in your logic regarding Aquarius. This prompted me to re-read Ptolemy. He found the Egyptian terms "defective" in their order and "irregular" in their allotment of degrees to each of the terms.

Ptolemy's newfound "ancient manuscript" provided a "rational and consistent account of the nature of the terms" and their order and quantity. Specifically, as you already mentioned, the lord of the exaltation comes first, then the lord of the triplicity, and then the lord of the domicile (house). If a planet has two honors in a sign, however, it comes first, even before the sequence exaltation-triplicity-domicile. Malefics come last unless they have two honors in a sign (in which case they come first); but in Cancer and Leo, signs of the Lights, the malefics come first -- Mars in Cancer and Saturn in Leo because the "malefics have greater potency in the houses of the luminaries."

Applying Ptolemy's rationale to Aquarius, we see that Saturn rules the sign and the triplicity (with Mercury). Hence Saturn comes first and Mercury second. (No planet is exalted in Aquarius, so Saturn with 2 honors comes first and Mercury the triplicity ruler comes next.) Mars the malefic goes last. This leaves Venus and Jupiter. Looking to the next sign, Pisces, we see that Venus is exalted and Jupiter is lord of the house. Since the order is exaltation, then triplicity, then house, Venus will come before Jupiter. Hence, the terms in Aquarius should have the order:
Saturn (with 2 dignites) - (No exalted planet in Aquarisu) - Mercury (triplicity ruler) - Venus (exalted in the next sign) - Jupiter (house ruler of the next sign) - Mars (a malefic without dignities in Aquarius).

If I am understanding Ptolemy correctly, this sequence explains how he arrived at his table of terms for Aquarius.

Tony
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Deb
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Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tony,

It’s good to have your input. Can I first check that I undersand what you are saying correctly, and then perhaps ask for your opinion on whether you think this does resolve the problem, considering how it impacts upon the reasoning for the rest of the scheme?

Earlier I wrote:

Quote:
The formula is to establish the first rulers (as I did earlier), then the second set of terms are given to the planet that is the best dignified planet in the next sign (usually the first term ruler for that sign), and the third set are given to the planet that is the best dignified planet in the sign after that.


So my assumption is, or was, (please bear in mind that I feel somewhere between half-knowing what I’m doing and purely guessing Smile ), that we only take the most dignified planet from the first sign, and then automatically go to the following sign for the second term ruler and so on – this seems to work with the exception of Aquarius as I’ve shown.

You seem to be suggesting that we don’t move onto the next sign until we have exhausted the planets with dignity in the first – or at least we can add in an extra set of terms where one of the planets has a dual rulership and there remains another with dignity there. I hope I’ve summarised that correctly.

But then that would contradict the order of the rulerships in other signs wouldn’t it?

For example Libra has very similar conditions to Aquarius: Saturn is given the first place in Libra because it has dual rulership over exaltation and triplicity, just as in Aquarius it has dual rulership over triplicity and sign. If we include this dual rulership in Aquarius as an ‘extra’, allowing us to also include Mercury as the other triplicity ruler, then why doesn’t that logic apply in Libra as well, since Mercury is a triplicity ruler there and according to the ‘rules’ triplicity rulership supersedes sign rulership? But Mercury is not recognised as having strength in Libra, and only takes the 4th place.

The same applies for Scorpio. Mars has dual rulership over sign and triplicity, so if we allow this to be an extra inclusion, wouldn’t we expect the second rulership to go to Venus, which also has rulership over the water triplicity? (From what I understand of this table, it is allowing the two principle rulers of each triplicity by day or night, and the more ancient sources that this ‘ancient’ manuscript would have used, recognised Venus as the main ruler by day). We might argue this point if Mars alone is being used as the ruler of the water triplicity – which I think is unlikely – but that still doesn’t explain why the Libran dignities are compiled differently to the Aquarian dignities when such similar conditions exist.

So I’m left thinking that your suggestion might offer a solution for Aquarius but at worst it causes bigger problems or at best it only shifts the inconsistency problem onto another sign. Unless you can now close that gap of course Smile

BTW, I received Maurice McCann’s book ‘The Sun and the Aspects’ this morning, and that does contain a fully demonstrated account of the reasoning behind term rulerships. It is the most detailed attempt at an explanation that I’ve seen published and I wish I’d had this to refer to last week as I might have saved myself a lot of hair pulling! It takes a similar approach to that which I’ve already explained, but it’s not exactly the same, and Maurice presents the same argument for the Aquarian rulerships as you have done. It’s a great book to refer to and compare thoughts with, even though there are some inconsistencies (or as Maurice might say "creative juggling") so I’m hoping Maurice won’t mind if I detail the differences in his argument in a separate post.
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Deb
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Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maurice informs me that he has no objection to me illustrating his arguments, or pulling at them where I think they are a little loose. Considering the sources he had and that he was working in isolation with this at a time when no one else was offering any suggestion, I think it’s amazing that he got where he did.

This is my summary of his explanation which focuses mainly on the places where he differs from the suggested reasoning that I made earlier. Maurice has some extra information about the rationale behind the numbers of the terms, but there are quite a few assumptions of mistakes, so I would rather leave that as a separate issue to be looked at later, at which point I expect that, at the very least, Maurice will be pointing in the right direction.

1) Cancer:
Maurice argues that Jupiter rules the second set of terms in Cancer because it has dignity by exaltation in Cancer, whereas I suggested that Jupiter ruled the second set of terms because it had the most dignity in the subsequent sign: Leo.
So here Maurice is seeing the inclusion of Mars as the first ruler of Cancer as an ‘extra’, which is followed by the first planet with dignity in the sign under consideration. But that means that Leo is then ‘skipped’, because the next rulership goes to Mercury - because it “has two prerogatives in Virgo”.
Mercury is followed by Venus which, as a benefic, takes precedence over Saturn, which comes last (to which I agree).

2) Leo:
Maurice doesn’t apply the same process in Leo however. If he had, he would have had to view Saturn as an extra and give the second place to Jupiter as the only qualifying planet to have dignity in Leo (by triplicity) – which the table doesn’t show. Instead he offers the same rationale for the order of the terms in Leo that I have done: that Saturn is not an ‘extra’ but the only planet initially taken from Leo, with the second place going to Mercury as the most dignified planet in the following sign (Virgo), and the third place going to Venus which has dignity in the sign after that (Libra). I obviously agree with him here, but would suggest that this makes what he has done in Cancer an unnecessary inconsistency.

3) Libra:
Maurice doesn’t consider Venus as a qualifying ruler of the water triplicity, so he only presents Mars as an option for triplicity rulership in Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Apologies for the lengthy diversion that follows, but I think it is necessary to detail the triplicity rulers that are being considered (and why), because that subject alone can influence a lot of the logic in the scheme.

My interest in this matter originally started as a way to see how the ‘Dorothean’ triplicity rulers compared against the Ptolemaic triplicity rulers in the way they were incorporated in this scheme, and I went through several options to see whether two or three triplicity rulers were recognised, and whether there was a modification for triplicity rulers that are in or out of sect. I’m still working on this issue, but my current belief is:

a) There is no modification of dignity for triplicity rulers that are out of set; at least not so far as the order of dignity is derived, although this might have some impact upon the way that planets gain or lose degrees of rulership from or to other planets – for example, Jupiter is accepted as the only qualifying planet with dignity in Aries because it rules the fire triplicity by night. Aries is a diurnal sign but it does not matter that Jupiter is the main ruler of the fire triplicity by night. However this might help to explain why Jupiter is chosen to lose one of its degrees of rulership to a planet that has a stronger claim to dignity in another sign, whereas in other places Jupiter keeps its degrees and Saturn loses more than one or Mars loses degrees instead.

b) There is no recognition for the third triplicity ruler under the Dorothean scheme. For example, Dorotheus claims that the rulers of the air triplicity (although he doesn’t use the term ‘air’ and calls it the ‘Gemini, Libra, Aquarius’ triplicity’) are “by day Saturn, then Mercury, then Jupiter; by night Mercury, then Saturn then Jupiter”. But there is no recognition of dignity for Jupiter in Libra – if there were the third set of terms in Leo would be given to Jupiter rather than Venus, because Jupiter as a triplicity ruler would be more dignified than Venus the sign ruler. The same principle would apply to the second set of terms in Virgo.

Another indication is that Dorotheus also includes Mars as the third ruler for the earth triplicity, but if this were considered then Mars would be allowed to have more dignity in Taurus and Virgo than Saturn (which has no dignity in those signs), so Mars would be moved before Saturn to take 4th place in these signs as it does in Aries. There is no place in the scheme where re-ordering takes place to allow for the third triplicity ruler, so it seems safe to discount its influence.

c) Valens, along with most ancient authors, recorded the same scheme as Dorotheus, but gave a subtle shift of emphasis in saying that one planet is master by day, another is master by night, and there is a third planet that co-operatives in both. As I have just said, it seems to be only the two planets that take principle rulership by day or night that are being recognised in the rulership of the terms. Generally these are the two triplicity rulers as recorded in Lilly’s ‘Table of Essential Dignities according to Ptolemy’, but according to the majority of opinion amongst ancient authors, Mars is only the main ruler of the water triplicity by night, and Venus is the main ruler by day. Since Ptolemy is so isolated in his opinion that Mars is the main ruler by day and night, it seems most reasonable to assume that the ancient document Ptolemy referred to wasn’t following Ptolemy’s thinking on this, but adhered to the majority opinion, which leaves the qualifying triplicity rulers as:

Fire triplicity: Sun (D) & Jupiter (N) – Sun is disqualified leaving Jupiter only.
Earth triplicity: Venus (D) & Moon (N) – Moon is disqualified leaving Venus only.
Air triplicity: Saturn (D) & Mercury (N)
Water triplicity: Venus (D) & Mars (N)

I see the inclusion of Venus as a ruler of the water triplicity supported by the fact that the second set of terms in Libra are given to Venus, which is the only qualifying planet to hold dignity in the subsequent sign: Scorpio, but Maurice makes a different argument here. He sees the dual rulership of Saturn over the exaltation and triplicity of Libra as the reason why it takes first place (agreed), but then Venus takes the second place because of its sign rulership of Libra. Then he skips Scorpio and gives the 3rd rulership to Jupiter for having the greatest strength in Sagittarius, … and then we are both in agreement as to why Mercury comes 4th and Saturn comes last.

Here I think there is another inconsistency, because if we are going to include two of the planets with dignity from Libra, then why is Venus the 2nd ruler and not Mercury which is the other triplicity ruler? The text is quite clear in specifying that triplicity rulership takes dominance over sign rulership.

4) Aquarius:
Maurice presents the same argument as Tony made earlier.

5) Pisces:
The reason for taking Venus first is clear and we both agree on that. But I proposed that Jupiter takes 2nd place because it has the most dignity in the following sign (Aries) whereas Maurice suggests it is because Jupiter is also dignified in Pisces.

---

I hope that’s a fair representation of your argument Maurice. I’m currently feeling very bemused and frustrated at the way there is either a fault in the table or a need to be very creative and inconsistent to make sense of it! As I’ve moaned before, the only reason this table has been given the coverage it has is because it is supposed to contain “a natural and consistent explanation of their order and number”, although to be fair Ptolemy did say “its damaged state made it hard to read, so that I could barely gain an idea of its general purport”.

But without this sense of order, I find it difficult to justify why this table should get more credence than the Egyptian set of terms, especially since Neugebauer and Van Hoesen point out that of all the charts published in their Greek Horoscopes all but one seem to only use the Egyptian system of terms, and that exception doesn’t use the Ptolemaic terms instead of, but as well as.

I probably need to stand back a little now, otherwise I’m in danger of getting too close to my own presumptions and not seeing the wood for the trees.
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sasha_i



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Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good job Deborah!

It's a pleasure to follow your thinking process.
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TonyLouis



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
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Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb,

Thanks for presenting Maurice's arguments (I'll have to order his book). It will take me a little time to go through them. Ptolemy is a bit unclear on exactly what he was doing. This is a fascinating exercise and I'm learning a lot by going through it. I wonder if there is a pattern to the Egyptian terms that we're not yet seeing.

Best wishes,

Tony
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Deb
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Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read a bit more of Maurice’s book last night and I really recommend it – not just for what he covers in this topic, but for his exploration of a number of techniques.

I can’t help thinking myself that if we understand more about the principles that are dictating one table of terms, it will help to understand the kind of thinking that is built into the others. For example, it has to be more than coincidence that the two sets of terms that are outstanding in the Egyptian system for their 12 degree length are where the benefics hold dual rulership by either exaltation and triplicity or sign rulership and triplicity. But the discrepancies in the records hardly help, so I don’t know if there will ever be an answer.

At the moment we seem to have two ways to explain the creation of the Ptolemaic terms. One seems systematic and allows the table to be rebuilt from stated principles – albeit from the instruction of an anonymous author - with the exception of one sign. The other appears less methodical, and it currently seems that it is only by jiggling the logic around that we can explain the table. Since the principles don’t appear to be systematic, I doubt that anyone could ever recreate that table without already having it in front of them!

Then again, there could be something else entirely that I’m failing to see. Robert Schmidt says in the introduction to his translation of the Tetrabiblos:

“By a very careful translation of Ptolemy’s own description of his table, we were able to show the complete agreement of the Teubner text with Ptolemy’s stated principles of assignment.”

That’s quite a statement - so perhaps he has seen the answer, but he doesn’t reveal it clearly by demonstrating it in the manner that Maurice does. No matter how many times I read Schmidt’s text I can’t see how the order of the arrangement in Aquarius makes sense. But he obviously seems to think it does because he makes some reference to it in a footnote.

This is how Robbins and Schmidt have each translated the passage on how to make the arrangement. Perhaps someone else is able to understand Schmidt’s reference to Aquarius in his footnote 4 better than I am?

Robbins:
“For their arrangement within each sign, the exaltations, triplicities, and houses are taken into consideration. For, generally speaking, the star that has two rulerships of this sort in the same sign is placed first, even though it may be maleficent. But wherever this condition does not exist, the maleficent planets are always put last, and the lords of the exaltation first, the lords of the triplicity next, and then those of the house, following the order of the signs. And again in order, those that have two lordships each are preferred to the one which has but one in the same sign. Since terms are not allotted to the luminaries, however, Cancer and Leo, the houses of the sun and moon, are assigned to the maleficent planets because they were deprived of their share in the order, Cancer to Mars and Leo to Saturn; in these the order appropriate to them is preserved.”

(Harvard University Press, 1940; pp.103-5)

----------

Schmidt:
“As for the order according to each twelfth-part, the exaltation and the trigons and the houses are employed. For, in general, the star having two of these rulerships is placed in the front rank in the same Zoidon, even if it should be malefic. But wherever this does not obtain, the malefics are always placed last, the rulers of the exaltation first, then the rulers of the trigon, then the rulers of the house. Then for the next [boundary rulers], analogously [do the same] in the next zoidon in order,(3) again with those having two rulerships upward in the next [zoidon] being placed ahead of one having a single rulership in the same zoidon.(4) Nevertheless, since no boundaries are given to the lights, Cancer and Leo, which are houses of the Sun and Moon, are apportioned to the malefics because of being disadvantaged in the order. Cancer was apportioned to the star of Ares, but Leo to the star of Kronos, in which the order proper to them is preserved.

3) This phrase and the next one are the keys to understanding how to establish the order of the boundaries after the first, and they have both been mistranslated by Robbins, who does not give enough information in his translation to make the order determinant. This phrase simply says that after taking the rulers in the prescribed order for a given zoidon, you move onto the next zoidon and again consider the exaltation ruler first, then the trigon ruler, etc.

4) This phrase takes care of the only exception to the instruction in the preceding phrase, which occurs from going to Ares to Kronos in Gemini (instead of vice versa). The word ‘upward’ specifies that this condition obtains only when the planet of double rulership in the next zoidon is also upcoming in the order of exaltation, trigon, house. This qualification rules out the only other example of a succeeding double rulership – that is, where Kronos is followed by Hermes in Aquarius, instead of Aphrodite.”


(Golden Hind Press, 1994; pp.42-3)

---------

I don’t quite understand what Schmidt is trying to say here, and I would have thought that Schmidt’s interpretation of the actual text confirms the principle that Venus should come before Mercury in Aquarius.

If, on the other hand, Schmidt is arguing that a double rulership in the next sign comes after a remaining single rulership in the same sign, then this doesn’t make sense of Jupiter (dignified by triplicity) being placed in the 4th place instead of the 2nd in Leo, nor of Mercury (dignified by triplicity) being placed in the 4th place in Libra, instead of in the 2nd place as it is in Aquarius.

So I wonder if Schmidt really has seen this ‘complete agreement’ of the ‘stated principles of assignment’, or if, actually, he’s just as confused as the rest of us Smile
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borealis



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Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am really sorry for my -- earlier. I have difficulty sometimes explaining. I hope that I have simplified this as best as possible. The way that I understand this is super easy. Not at all complex.

First: Organize your signs from Leo to Cancer instead of your typical Aries to Pisces. It will help make it understandable.

Next: It is already easily understood that Leo and Cancer have an exception but why doe he specifically say, "Mars, consequently, receives the first degrees in Cancer, and Saturn in Leo, by which arrangement a proper order is preserved"??
Leave them out for now and make a list of your first terms using this formula. Exhalt, Triplicity, House. You should end up with this:

LEO - blank

VIRGO - Exhalt- MERCURY
LIBRA - Triplicity- SATURN
SCORPIO - House - MARS
SAGG - Exhalt-S.Node
CAPRICOR - Triplicity-VENUS
AQUARIUS - House -SATURN
PISCES - Exhalt-VENUS
ARIES - Triplicity-JUPITER
TAURUS - House -VENUS
GEMINI - Exhalt- N.NODE

CANCER -blank

Through this pattern, All the signs match up with their proper first position planets except for Leo, Gemini, Saggitarius which ends up with the Sun or S.Node and N.Node. We have a rule for that though and so we know that the first position in Gemini is taken by Mercury because he has a "double dignity" here. First position of Sagg is Jupiter because he is "double".

Under this pattern, For Cancer, we would look to triplicity ruler and for Leo, we would look to house ruler. Therefore Mars takes Cancer’s first term and Sun would be first term for Leo. However, Sun cannot take first place and there is no double dignity in Leo. Saturn therefore takes first term here and as Ptolemy says, “Saturn in Leo, by which arrangement a proper order is preserved”

LAST TERMS

Once the first term is decided, it is time to place the malefics. The way that I understand this is that the most ‘potent’ planet comes first and the lest ‘potent’ last.

In the below list, you will find that 5 of 12 signs begin with a malefic and so placing the other malefic last is not that complex.

In Virgo, Saggitarius and Taurus neither malefic is dignified. The simple explanation for this is that the whole idea of the order follows the idea that the last term is associated with the weakest malefic. Mars is naturally weaker that Saturn unless he is dignified otherwise ad so he is naturally placed last. With Pisces, Aries and Gemini the least dignified malefic takes the last place and the other second last.

Capricorn is the only sign here that has any figuring involved, and it’s hardly complicated either. Mars rules exhalt and Saturn rules house, so Saturn is the least dignified and therefore goes last.

LEO House - SUN (SATURN)
• Saturn is first so mars is last

VIRGO Exhalt - MERCURY
• Neither has dignity

LIBRA Triplicity- SATURN
• Saturn is first so mars is last

SCORPIO - House - MARS
• Mars is first so, Saturn is last

SAGGITARIUS - Exhalt-S.NodeJUPITER wins from double
• Neither has dignity

CAPRICORN - Triplicity-VENUS
• Both have dignity but Mars is Exalt and Saturn house so Saturn is last, Mars second last

AQUARIUS - House -SATURN
• Saturn is first and so Mars is last

PISCES – Exhalt -VENUS
• Mars has dignity and so Saturn is last, Mars second last

ARIES -Triplicity -JUPITER
• Mars has dignity by house and Saturn none so Saturn is last, Mars second last

TAURUS - House -VENUS
• Neither has dignity

GEMINI - Exhalt- S.NODE (MERCURY)
• Saturn has dignity by triplicity so mars is last, Saturn second last

CANCER - Triplicity-MARS
• Mars is first so Saturn is last

MIDDLE TERMS

I’ve placed Leo last here because it is the only sign that has any question attached to it. When placed in this order, the original order that Ptolemy describes, the terms sort themselves quite easily and it is very easy to duplicate. Simply go in order and each term will be described. I have crossed out the planets that have already been used or are not usable just to make it easier to follow but it just doesn't work in this forum..AHH! So here is what you do:
Take your 'starting planet', in Virgo below, I started with the exhalt ruler so next is triplicity, next house, next signs exhalt...... Then cross out all the 'used or unavailable planets. Then betow on your order!!

VIRGO - Exhalt- MERCURY
• Virgo triplicity –VENUS, MOON
• Virgo house – MERCURY
• Libra exhalt – SATURN
• Libra triplicity –SATURN, MERCURY
• Libra house-VENUS
• Scorpio exhalt –MARS
• Scorpio triplicity –MARS
• Scorpio house –MARS
o Mercury, Venus, Jupiter left, Saturn, Mars

LIBRA - Triplicity- SATURN, MERCURY
• Libra house –VENUS
• Libra exhalt –SATURN
• Scorpio exhalt –MARS
• Scorpio triplicity –MARS, MARS
• Scorpio house –MARS
• Saggitarius exhalt – S.NODE
• Saggitarius tripliciy –SUN, JUPITER
o Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars
o It’s important to take note that Mercury is last here. The order used all along has been Exhalt, triplicity, house and no where does Ptolemy elude to the order as being exhalt, day triplicity, night triplicity, house. In Libra, we have started with triplicity and now must move through the order of the next two signs before ending up back on mercury.

SCORPIO - House – MARS
• Scorpio exhalt –MARS
• Scorpio triplicity –MARS
• Saggitarius exhalt – S.NODE
• Saggitarius tripliciy –SUN, JUPITER
• Saggitarius house, JUPITER
• Capricorn exhalt –MARS
• Capricorn triplicity –VENUS, MOON
• Capricorn house- SATURN
o Mars, Jupiter, Venus, only Mercury left, Saturn

SAGG - Exhalt—S.NODE (JUPITER)
• Saggitarius tripliciy –SUN, JUPITER
• Saggitarius house, JUPITER
• Capricorn exhalt -MARS
• Capricorn triplicity –VENUS, MOON
• Capricorn house – SATURN
• Aquarius exhalt –NONE
• Aquarius triplicity –SATURN MERCURY
o Jupiter, Venus, Mercury ,Saturn, Mars

CAPRICORN- Triplicity-SUN, VENUS
• Capricorn House – SATURN
• Capricorn exhalt –MARS
• Aquarius exhalt –NONE
• Aquarius triplicity –SATURN ,MERCURY
• Aquarius house- SATURN
• Pisces Exhalt –VENUS
• Pisces Triplicity –MARS, MARS
• Pisces House- JUPITER
o Venus, Mercury Jupiter, Mars, Saturn

AQUARIUS - House –SATURN
• Aquarius exhalt –NONE
• Aquarius triplicity –SATURN, MERCURY
• Pisces exhalt – VENUS
• Pisces tripliciy –MARS, MARS
• Pisces house, JUPITER
• Aries exhalt – SUN
• Aries triplicity –SUN, JUPITER
• Aries house- MARS
o Saturn, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars

PISCES - Exhalt-VENUS
• Pisces tripliciy –MARS
• Pisces house, JUPITER
• Aries exhalt – SUN
• Aries triplicity –SUN, JUPITER
• Aries house- MARS
• Taurus exhalt –MOON
• Taurus triplicity –VENUS MOON
• Taurus house – VENUS
o Venus, Jupiter, Only Mercury left, Mars, Saturn

ARIES - Triplicity- SUN, JUPITER
• Aries house –MARS
• Aries exhalt -SUN
• Taurus exhalt –MOON
• Taurus triplicity –VENUS, MOON
• Taurus house – VENUS
• Gemini exhalt – S.NODE
• Gemini triplicity – SATURN, MERCURY
• Gemini house – MERCURY
o Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Saturn

TAURUS - House –VENUS
• Taurus exhalt –MOON
• Taurus triplicity –VENUS, MOON
• Gemini exhalt – S.NODE
• Gemini triplicity – SATURN, MERCURY
• Gemini house – MERCURY
• Cancer exhalt – JUPITER
• Cancer triplicity –SATURN, MERCURY
• Cancer House - MOON
o Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars

GEMINI - Exhalt- S.NODE (MERCURY)
• Gemini triplicity – SATURN, MERCURY
• Gemini house – MERCURY
• Cancer exhalt – JUPITER
• Cancer triplicity – MARS, MARS
• Cancer house – MOON
• Leo exhalt –SUN
• Leo Triplicity-SUN, JUPITER
• Leo House -MARS
o Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mars

CANCER - Triplicity-MARS, MARS
• Cancer house - MOON
• Cancer exhalt- JUPITER
• Leo exhalt –SUN
• Leo Triplicity-SUN, JUPITER
• Leo House -MARS
• Virgo exhalt – MERCURY
• Virgo triplicity –VENUS, MOON
• Virgo house - MERCURY
o Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Saturn

LEO - House - SUN (SATURN)
• Leo exhalt –None
• Leo triplicity – SUN, JUPITER
• Virgo exhalt – MERCURY
• Virgo triplicity –VENUS, MOON
• Virgo house – MERCURY
• Libra exhalt – SATURN
• Libra triplicity –SATURN, MERCURY
• Libra house- VENUS
o Saturn, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars
o Mercury must come first because he is twice in the same sign. Between Jupiter and Venus is more difficult. There is a very simple explanations that seems to follow order. We had to ‘skip’ Jupiter by way of placing mercury first; this means that we have to continue the succession to include Venus before we get back to Jupiter.

Okay...so... I was super worried about posting this cause it seems like I may be making some mistake or mixing tings up but...this is just how I got it?? I wouldn't be too quick to assume Ptolemy was wrong? Maybe he was? Anyways... SO SORRY FOR THE LONG POST!!
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Deb
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Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Borealis,

I wouldn’t worry about making your post long. Speaking for myself, I have to be able to follow the argument through step-by-step to avoid getting confused, and I think you explained this really well.

I also think this is a very good explanation, and I encourage anyone else seriously interested in this topic to read it through carefully. There is a subtle shift in focus in the interpretation of the text that derives the order of the middle terms, so that the Aquarian terms, which could not be justified by the explanation I proposed earlier, seem to be accounted for in this. But here the Leo terms are a little problematic: we would expect that if Mercury moves upwards because of its dual rulership, it would move before Jupiter to have Jupiter sitting behind it; but this explanation suggests that it replaces Jupiter, so Jupiter loses its claim and gets shunted towards the back, behind Venus which has a weaker claim but picks up the order.

This may well be it, Borealis – I’d like to leave it a few days and then consider it again when my mind is clearer, but I wonder if anyone else has comments or suggestions on this?

Great stuff! And thanks for posting it Smile

Deb
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Deb
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Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far, we have established a clear agreement on the order of the first set of terms for each sign. It also now seems agreed that the natural order for the malefics at the end of each sign should be Saturn then Mars, unless Mars has more dignity than Saturn to move it forward. That order isn’t specified as such by the text, but the order and logic of the table reveals that this has to be the case.

Previously, it was assumed that if there was any natural order in the arrangement, it would follow the sequence:

Jupiter > Venus > Mercury > Mars > Saturn

– ie, from the ‘greater benefic’, to the ‘lesser benefic’, to a neutral planet, to the ‘lesser malefic’, to the ‘greater malefic’. However, there is an order that is recognised in Babylonian astrology that is known to be invariable in the way that planetary data was presented:

Jupiter > Venus > Mercury > Saturn > Mars

Francesca Rochberg is one of the scholars to comment on this (‘Babylonian Horoscopes’, pp.8-11), where she says that there is no astronomical explanation for this order and that it has to be attributed to a recognition of benefic-malefic qualities. The order of Mars before Saturn could be explained by the fact that Mars is often considered to be a particularly ‘evil’ planet in Babylonian astrology, but it could also be affected by the recognition of light (her suggestion). We might also consider the possibility that it produced a pattern related to planetary sect:

(diurnal) > (nocturnal) > (neutral) > (diurnal) > (nocturnal)

Whatever the case, it seems indisputable that Saturn should naturally take the 4th place in each set of terms, and Mars the 5th, unless there is good reason to place them elsewhere - heightening the possibility that this older Babylonian order was being utilised, which is an interesting point in itself.

Related to this, we might be able to clear up the doubt that hangs over the last two sets of terms in Gemini. I would imagine that by far the majority of astrologers using this set of terms today are following Lilly’s instruction that the 4th place in Gemini goes to Saturn, and then the 5th goes to Mars. The explanations put forward in this thread agree with this and support Lilly’s arrangement for Gemini as being:

Mercury > Jupiter > Venus > Saturn > Mars

However, none of the translations of Tetrabiblos that we possess support this!

Ashmand, Robbins, Boll-Boer, Hubner and Schmidt have all translated the terms of Gemini to be:

Mercury > Jupiter > Venus > Mars > Saturn

As Robert Hand’s introduction to the PH edition explains: “most of our knowledge of Ptolemy comes from translations of translations” (iv), but since – to date - no translator has backed up Lilly’s proposed arrangement for the terms in Gemini, there has always been the concern that this might just be a typo on his part.

However, the link that Osthanes gave on the first page of this thread leads to an article by Giuseppe Bezza and Marco Fumagalli which picks out some details of an anonymous Greek commentary on how this passage in the Tetrabiblos should be understood. Dorian Greenbaum was good enough to translate more of this article for me, and although it doesn’t go into detail over the explanation of the assignment, it does shows that the anonymous commentator (thought to be Proclus) listed them in the same order as Lilly – Saturn then Mars, not vice versa. This makes a lot of sense because Lilly referred to a Latin translation of this commentary in his bibliography of Christian Astrology. Robert Hand has a copy of the same Latin translation that Lilly used and he is hoping to translate the relevant section as and when he has the time. I did ask him for a quick double check on the order of the terms in Gemini and he can confirm that yes, this does indeed show the order Saturn > Mars as Bezza reports.

I think this is an important point because - apart from proving once again that Lilly was not as sloppy as people presume – the logic that has been proposed in this thread relies upon Lilly being correct in his order, and Ashmand, Robbins, Schmidt et al being wrong. Saturn has dignity in Gemini by triplicity, so if Lilly was wrong, we would have to propose a new rationale to explain why Saturn comes before Mars here, but not elsewhere.

I think it will be really useful to have the translation of that anonymous commentary before making any further conclusions on this, because from what I can gather the explanation is quite detailed and so hopefully just as illuminating. It might take some time to obtain it, but it is good to know that it is being worked on. In the meantime I’m taking the explanation that Borealis has put forward as definitely credible.

If more comes to light I’ll let it be known here. In the meantime I’m going to be patient, see what the translation turns up, and hope that it confirms a few points one way or another.

Deb
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Deb
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Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Borealis,

I took another look at your suggestion last night and tried to use it as a basis to recreate the table of terms. Armed with a blank table and your instructions, these are the problems I had.

1) You suggest starting the method from another place rather than Aries to make it easier to follow. If we begin with Virgo as you do, to obtain the first set of terms, then we start off with (and follow) the order Exaltation > triplicity > house, as the text clearly states. However, if we do try to start from Aries, then the order doesn’t work – the sequence would result in Jupiter leading the terms of Pisces as the house ruler. This could be overruled by Venus having dual rulership in Pisces if we allow Venus as one of the water triplicity rulers, but the order of the Scorpio terms only work if we eliminate Venus from this rulership and take Mars as the only ruler of the water triplicity.
To get the method to work by beginning with Aries, then we have to start off with triplicity > house > exaltation (and then follow through) to get the planets in the right places. I’m not sure about this, though I could live with it if it was the only problem – especially because there is another way to read how to get those first set of terms anyway.

2) The bigger concern is that we end up with the same problem as before – the logic used to establish the Libran terms is disregarded when we come to determine the Aquarian terms. With the Libran terms we begin with Saturn as the triplicity ruler, and you suggest that we don’t allow Mercury to take the next place as we only use one triplicity ruler. Your explanation goes:

Quote:
It’s important to take note that Mercury is last here. The order used all along has been Exhalt, triplicity, house and no where does Ptolemy elude to the order as being exhalt, day triplicity, night triplicity, house. In Libra, we have started with triplicity and now must move through the order of the next two signs before ending up back on mercury.


Hence we move on to Venus, agreeing with the table which reads: Saturn > Venus > Jupiter > Mercury > Mars.

In Aquarius we begin with Saturn - a double ruler because it rules the triplicity and house, so therefore Mercury as the second triplicity ruler of Aquarius ought to be ignored (if it is not ignored here then why is it ignored in Libra?). This logic would require us to take Venus as the ruler of the second set of terms (exalted in Pisces), followed by Jupiter – the same result as the approach I suggested earlier, but disagreeing with the table which reads: Saturn > Mercury > Venus > Jupiter > Mars.

So whilst I feel that this is an ingenious way to explain the table and worth exploring, it still doesn’t seem to solve the problem of those Aquarian terms! I’m becoming more convinced that nothing ever will, although I’d love to be proved wrong.
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TonyLouis



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
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Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI,

I came across this photo of Alchabitius' commentary on the terms. It is taken from a 1502 edition of Alchabitius medieval text being sold on ebay, which states: "The title page to this very rare and well-preserved medieval text on astrology reads simply, "Alchabitius cum comento. Cum gratia et priuilegio." He appears to be using the Egyptian terms.

Here is a link to the page on terms: http://hometown.aol.com/tonylouis/alchabitius.jpg

Here is a link to the ebay site (I don't know how long it will remain posted):

http://cgi.ebay.com/1502-Astronomy-Astrology-Famous-Medieval-Text-RARE_W0QQitemZ180049993416QQihZ008QQcategoryZ2201QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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TonyLouis



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Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Related to this, we might be able to clear up the doubt that hangs over the last two sets of terms in Gemini. I would imagine that by far the majority of astrologers using this set of terms today are following Lilly’s instruction that the 4th place in Gemini goes to Saturn, and then the 5th goes to Mars. The explanations put forward in this thread agree with this and support Lilly’s arrangement for Gemini as being:

Mercury > Jupiter > Venus > Saturn > Mars

However, none of the translations of Tetrabiblos that we possess support this!

Ashmand, Robbins, Boll-Boer, Hubner and Schmidt have all translated the terms of Gemini to be:

Mercury > Jupiter > Venus > Mars > Saturn

As Robert Hand’s introduction to the PH edition explains: “most of our knowledge of Ptolemy comes from translations of translations” (iv), but since – to date - no translator has backed up Lilly’s proposed arrangement for the terms in Gemini, there has always been the concern that this might just be a typo on his part.
Deb


Deb,

Rather than do a long post here, I am providing a link with a discussion of the terms according to Ptolemy that addresses many of the points you have raised. Here is the link:

hometown.aol.com/tonylouis/Ptolemy.rtf



Tony
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I came across this photo of Alchabitius' commentary on the terms. It is taken from a 1502 edition of Alchabitius medieval text being sold on ebay, which states: "The title page to this very rare and well-preserved medieval text on astrology reads simply, "Alchabitius cum comento. Cum gratia et priuilegio." He appears to be using the Egyptian terms.

You can find the whole 16th-c. edition of Al-Qabisi in the Bibliotheque numerique de la BNF in pdf format. It is a Latin translation of the Isagoge of Al-Qabisi with the extensive commentaries of John of Saxony (Johannes Danck). Just choose "Recherche", and fill "Auteur" field with "Al-Qabisi". There are other downloadable Medieval astrological texts too.
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TonyLouis



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Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You can find the whole 16th-c. edition of Al-Qabisi in the Bibliotheque numerique de la BNF in pdf format. It is a Latin translation of the Isagoge of Al-Qabisi with the extensive commentaries of John of Saxony (Johannes Danck). Just choose "Recherche", and fill "Auteur" field with "Al-Qabisi". There are other downloadable Medieval astrological texts too.


Thanks. What a useful site!

Tony
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Deb
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Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tony

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write “thank you for that link” for a few days now, but I’ve been a bit all over the place. It was good of you to have the foresight and take the trouble to capture that image. Also of course, thanks to you too Osthanes for pointing out that the entire manuscript is available online, and for giving us the link to that site with all those other goodies!

Although these are both the translations of John of Saxony, they seem to be two different versions, and it is clearer from the full-text reproduction that he only includes the Egyptian terms – he doesn’t make any reference to the ‘Chaldean’ or ‘Ptolemaic’ sets. Lilly leaves the impression (p.103) that after Ptolemy set down “his method”, the Greeks and everyone else were unanimous in applying it, but that seems to be far from the truth in Classical astrology, and this shows it wasn’t necessarily the case in Arabian astrology either.

Tony, thanks for making that word document available. I’ve looked through it this morning but I need to find some time later (maybe next week) to give it the proper ‘crunch’ test. That’s when I try to recreate the table from the stated principles – have you tried that yourself yet? It’s the best way to find out if the theory really works because it shows the places where you need to start inventing new rules (or cheating) to get it to right. And you are not allow to look at the table when you do it Smile

Because of the link to the 1583 text of Junctinus that Phillip posted in the notices section, I did manage to discover that at least one of Lilly’s sources had the table of terms exactly as Lilly as it, with the last two terms in Gemini ending in the order: Saturn, Mars. The table can be found on p.93 of the images found on this link (p.76 in the manuscript): http://fondosdigitales.us.es/books/digitalbook_view?oid_page=212625

Lilly mentions this work in his bibliography thus:

Quote:
Franciscus Junctinus Speculum Astrologiæ, in two Tomes, folio, he comments upon the third and fourth of Ptolomey, and upon Sacro Bosco, was printed Lugduni, 1583.


I’m currently trying to collect other tables of Ptolemaic terms from historical sources, though it’s worrying how much some of them differ in details. The other table I found on the internet is the Latin translation of Plato of Tivoli available at http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/pdf/fah750pto.pdf (table is on p.20 of the pdf), which has substantial differences to what we find in any modern translation of the Tetrabiblos. It currently seems as if astrologers of the past were in exactly the same position we are in - they obviously had different ideas on what Ptolemy was trying to say Smile
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